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Lewis Hamilton thinks his chances of winning a race this season are gone | Formula One

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that his chances of winning a race this season are gone. The seven-time champion’s unique Formula One record of taking at least one win every season since making his debut in 2007 is likely to come to an end this year with just three races remaining and Hamilton admitting his Mercedes team cannot match Red Bull favourites. .

At the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton led the race in the final third in what was his best chance of winning this season. Having started from third on the grid, he took the lead after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen suffered a disastrous pit stop with a wheel problem that left him standing for 11 seconds. Verstappen then had to overtake Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari to chase down the British driver, who was six seconds ahead.

Hamilton made a determined effort to stay ahead, but Verstappen caught him and passed him, in a faster car and on faster tyres, seven laps from the flag. Verstappen, who had already been crowned world champion this season, went on to win after once again demonstrating the fearsome pace of the Red Bulls.

Asked if he thought he could maintain his record of one win each season – a feat unmatched by any other F1 driver – Hamilton said he believed his best attempt had failed.

“We really need to be realistic. The Red Bull car has been the fastest car by far all year and is still the fastest car,” he said.

“It was great to have started third and to be in a position to fight, but at a good pace, they have been ahead of us all weekend. They were on Sunday and they will be the next three races. So unless something drastic happens to more of them, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll have the true pace to be able to compete with them.”

The next GP is in Mexico City this weekend on Sunday and is followed by meetings in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Red Bull wrapped up the constructors’ championship in Austin and it looks like their car will be just as formidable in the final three meetings.

Hamilton pointedly pointed out how little he could do against Verstappen at the US GP. “He had an 11-second stop, and he was behind Charles, that just shows how much pace they had in hand,” he said. “To have passed Charles and to have reached six seconds and to have been at least three seconds ahead, that shows great speed.”

But Hamilton was at least optimistic that after what has been a difficult season for Mercedes, his team was in a position to be competitive again next season.

“Throughout the year we’ve made all the mistakes we needed to make to build a stronger foundation for next year,” he said. “So if we can get that car up to par with these guys, I think we could have a really exciting year next year.”

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